One of the things that I missed most when I started on the digital photography was creating photo albums. I guess because my dad was a collector nuts and wanted everything perfectly classified, one of my favorite childhood hobbies (that have also followed me to my adulthood) was to create albums for every collection with pictures and information about each piece.
One of my favorites, though, were our family photo albums. Although my dad was quite strict with how the pictures should be displayed, I had the most fun remembering each moment, ordering them chronologically and also freely (& I like to think artistically) paring the pictures in the same album page. I also had albums of my own and with those I had plenty of opportunities to bring my scrapbooking self in action.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that when buying my first digital camera I kept on printing the pictures in order to have them physically, and although from time to time I created an album (for the fun of it) they mainly were stored in boxes. Cute boxes, but I hardly went through the photos anymore.
When Dani bought his first dslr camera, the ole’ Canon 400D, and the pictures started looking better (and better! yay!) I became more nostalgic, missing not having books to flip through the pages. That’s when I began to notice more about the album printing services.
I saw a review in the famous Sandra Beijer’s blog Niotillfem where she shared a couple of photo books she just received from a service called Blurb. I think that having a blogger which you can trust their opinions can the best referee you may have, specially for this one since I was a little picky with the type of printing and paper options I would love for our photo books. I didn’t want to be albums in the sense of thick cardboard pages and regular ultra shiny printing option; I wished them to look like (as much as possible) the photography books from a bookstore.
That’s why we thought we could keep this recommendation rolling by showing you our last travel photo books!
A part from the paper options & printing quality-price rate, which really sold it for me, I like that you can be as creative as you wish to be by designing your own templates, but at the same time you are able to make an album in a few minutes (uploading pictures & using default options).
I like to slightly format my books adding index pages, headers and page numbers but keeping everything simple and elegant. In addition, for our Japan honeymoon I created our own pacman ghosts end sheets design which I think it was a really fun touch.
There are lots of options to display your pictures from a two page spread like the one in the former photo (do you remember Ainokura? doesn’t it look beautiful?) to the multiple photos per page. I don’t like to use the picture-on-picture ones, so I keep it simple. My favorite options are the ones using most of the page for only one picture, or the 4 photo grid for details or not so-quality-pics that I nevertheless want to keep because they are fun or show something important.
Blurb offers several paper options, for my travel books I use premium paper and matte finish. I have also tried lustre, a little bit shinier but without being too much, which is also nice, and the pro line uncoated finish which is more suited to art books.
For the covers you can choose between hardcover and softcover, and for the first one then you can decide between having a dust jacket or printing directly on the cover (they call it image wrap). I have used almost everything they offer for the covers and right now I am more into the hardcovers with image wrap for our travel section, but I also loved their dust jacket option (our engagement photo album!); it really depends on what you think will better fit your library. Just take into account that the printing on cover is not as bright as on the dust jacket.
Have you already used Blurb? Which was your experience? Do you prefer any other service? We love the results of Blurb but are always open to try new recommended things! :)
The guys at Blurb gave as us a 30£ (around 40€) promotional discount code to share with all of you:
The code will be valid until 14th of October 2014. Just follow any of the links on this post, register (if you still haven’t) and start creating your book. The discount applies before shipping costs, which is worldwide, so anyone can take advantage of the discount by buying in the UK site.
Also, don’t forget to ask me any doubt you may have, because after around 30 books on my shoulders (ohmy, I’m not sure if that was a crazy confession or the coolest one) I might be helpful!